Screw pain points! Compliment Karma launches to spread the love (exclusive)

It feels damn good to have a manager recognize that you’ve been pulling long hours at the office, and even better when your colleagues notice it too.

Compliment Karma, a Chicago-based startup, builds on our generation’s need for positive reinforcement in our personal and professional lives.

Whenever you’re impressed by a colleague or friend, send them a personal message via Compliment Karma, and they’ll receive badges, trophies, and “kudos” in their email inbox.

Startups often talk about how to resolve a pain point, but maybe there’s another way to quickly grow a user base. We don’t need a compliment, but they do put a skip in our step. I received an Compliment Karma message from cofounder Aman Singh (pictured, above) for the skill of being approachable in responding to his pitch. I admit, it was a good feeling on a Wednesday afternoon!

Similarly to Tribe HR, a potential competitor as the startup scales (if it’s adopted by human resources teams), compliment-receivers can share positive feedback on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Later down the line, compliments will accumulate, and users will be able the earn tangible rewards, such as employee-sponsored gift cards or a cash bonus.

The vision for the company? “This has the potential to become the one-stop reputation management tool for anybody in any industry,” said Singh, who considers global gamification company, Badgeville, to be the primary competition at this stage.

The startup is already beginning to mine its user data, although it will have far more to work when it begins marketing the site. Set up a profile, and you’ll see a dashboard with a history of your compliments, and the skill sets you’ve accumulated.

Singh said he has spent years refining the technology that lets people reap rewards for going beyond the call of duty. “Although this fine gesture makes us feel appreciated, we still never realize the true potential of these compliments,” he told me.

Founders Singh and Michael Hoitomt, the technical lead, must have a healthier relationship than most! Singh tells me they compliment each other on a daily basis via the site. Their dashboards are filled with compliments like, great job on building our brand,” and “thanks for developing the Jive app.” Founders, it’s free to register and use the site. You may want to get on board so you don’t kill each other in those stressful first months. It only takes a few seconds to send a compliment, and it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.

Compliment Karma is a bootstrapped effort, but the founders will be looking to raise a seed round as they gear up for a public launch next month.

Top image via Shutterstock


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!